33 of 39 people (85%) found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 17, 2015
This is a twin-stick shooter where you blast intergalactic parasites and-Oh why do I even bother? Let's skip ahead to why I gave this game a thumbs-down.
Typically in an arcade game you can be awarded a 1up for passing certain scores. Let's say the first 1up is for 50,000 points, the second is at 200,000, and the rest are every 500,000 thereafter. This doesn't apply to Pulstar. I got my first 1up at 2,137 points, the second at 13,854, and didn't receive anymore even after crossing 1,418,255 points. In my next game, I got my first 1up at 22,478 points, the second at 24,890, and 1-2 every few seconds from about 4:01 to 4:30. The following game? I got my first 1up at 486,977 points, and..didn't receive anymore lives for the rest of that attempt.
But guess what? It doesn't really matter. Getting a high-score in this game practically requires that you don't die, so all those extra lives are just trolling. Congrats! You bought yourself an extra second of survival. When you die you lose your kill-streak, and that's a massive multiplier that simply disappears into the ether. Screen-clearing bombs are several times more useful, but they rarely make an appearance. Power-ups stay on-screen indefinitely, so it's in your best interest to save those bombs for when they're really necessary (after the 4 minute mark).
Visually, this game is a mess. It's easy to lose track of things in most twin-stick shooters, let alone one with shifting brightness levels. There's a slowdown ability for when things get too hectic, but it messes with the screen really badly. Surrounding the playfield is a mess of clouds, they hide where enemies appear from. This is information I probably could use to avoid getting blind-sided for the 177th time.
Pulstar is supposed to appeal to the hardcore with its singular focus and extremely difficult achievements, but there's not enough there to justify giving it any serious time. Getting the best run feels more like something that will happen when the planets align, not when my skill reaches a certain level. On average I spend the first four minutes of every game preparing for everything going to hell at 4:01. Afterwards I stumble semi-blindly into a series of brick walls for a minute or two. This isn't fun, this is just me trying to prove that I'm actually putting in effort. I don't want to be that guy who doesn't like a game because he "doesn't get it". But man, this isn't worth the headache.
I personally really enjoyed this game, it brings back old arcade games like Geometry Wars in its own unique way. The game has a very benefical concept of easy to learn, but hard to master, which I really liked. Check out my video for more info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibmBOoWwo4M
20 of 25 people (80%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
I like the game, but it uses the background to make the game more difficult. Sometimes you'll run into enemies because they are hard to see thanks to the background, and worse yet, that's how the developers wanted the game.
It also gets hard at 4:00 minutes into the game and this is a game best played in small, short, gaming sessions.
I play it about 15 minutes at a time.
I still like the game, but suggest getting it bundled or at least 50% off if you find a coupon.
12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
22.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 24, 2015
Pulstar, with its intriguing choice of colors and the promise of a fast paced shoot em up, has so much wasted potential. The game is basic, almost barebone, which is fine for me and many others. However, it suffers from two major issues: horrible contrast and jerky movement controls. The game starts out easy but soon becomes overwhelming with continuous waves of enemies. Pulstar's replayability stems from the single and multiplayer world ranking that it offers. In the advanced wave stages, it becomes unnecessarily difficult to identify enemy elements due to the overdone graphics saturation. Additionally, you won't be able to adjust the jerky movements which makes advancing in this game more of a matter of luck than skill. Finally, the multiplayer option is limited to local co-op with no online functionality. The developers have decided to keep the game as is which is truly a shame.
Pulstar is an addicting "shooter" with amazing graphics with an interesting art style. It features special abiilities, unique enemies, and room for complicated playstyles. This is not a game you will play all the time, but find yourself playing while waiting for updates, friends to come online, and during short breaks between games. The sounds get repetitive, but the soundtrack is decent. It has a tiny almost obsolete story, but being the arcade game it is, it really doesn't need one. This game is simple, but in an overall good way, but it has it's complexities, mostly those of which you will find in it's playstyles. It is well priced for the game it is. Overall, this game mixes phenomenal lighting, graphics, and difficulty into one of the most addicting arcade-like shooters to date. -8.5/10 would buy for $5 and under.